„What can a cell do that does not suspect anything? Who is plagued by its fate, what can the cell do?” (Jazz+Az)
Many economic analysts have the same opinion and the majority of enterprises and company managers, owners, feel on their own skin that there is a very serious economic crisis as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. I am now using the term ‘crisis’ from this idea for a little analysis. In addition to the analysis, I will give you some advice that can be applied not only during the crisis caused by the coronavirus, but mostly in times of crisis of any type and in any area.
And then maybe that little cell will know what it can do not to be affected by its fate. 😊
First of all, shall we look at what the word crisis means? It says in the interpretive dictionary that “a situation which can turn for the better or worse.”
Finally, a good news!
Is this man crazy? No, I’m not crazy 😊 At first sight, as incredible as it is, it’s good news for an entrepreneur or company manager because in this situation, taking the right measures, there’s a good chance that things will get better. So here’s the thing: in this situation, the outcome depends on you to a much greater extent! You can do much more to make the “situation turn right” In a lower, worse operating condition, there is a much lower chance of doing so.
So let’s seize this opportunity. But what exactly do we have to do?
Things to do in case of crisis:
Don’t stop doing whatever it is! Many people fell for the mistake of “closing down” even when they didn’t need to go with the “trend.” You must never stop! Even slower, keep moving forward!
- Change your operational bases, if necessary!
Do you have a restaurant and you can’t be open? Switch to home delivery. To give you just one example. Think about how you can move forward, how you can overcome the obstacle that has come before you. Because you’re going to have to get over it by keeping the first, “Work, produce,” rule alive.
- Save money!
Consider your expenses and calculate how long you have a reserve. But no matter how little you have, never save money by not doing the thins included in the 1st and 2nd rule!
- Get ready for the service!
If you have fewer opportunities to produce, work, or you found yourself in a situation where you temporarily can’t serve your customers, spend your free time usefully! Make plans for the period when work will restart. Train yourself! There is a lot of training available online, take the opportunity!
- Tighten discipline!
Tighten your own discipline, and if you have coworkers, employees, tighten their discipline, too. This does not mean that you should shout at them for no reason, but rather to communicate with them to understand that in this crisis situation, any infractions and misdemeanours will come with greater weight. Keep strict discipline on your own. The easiest way to do this is to follow an agenda as well as in “peacetime”.
If you don’t take these steps, or if you take them but not in the right order, or if this crisis drags on, your business could be at risk. And the danger, as I wrote above, is a worse situation threatening to end the business. However, if you do and do it in exactly the right order, there’s a good chance things will go back to normal.
The leader is the pattern
What is it that you need to be more aware of as a company manager besides the above?
At this time of crisis, the responsibility of a leader is far greater than usual.
You just can’t afford not to be at your best every day. You have to be in top shape. In every way! Both health and mental. In a crisis like this, the attention of employees and business partners to the entrepreneur is much greater than when things are going well. And you, as an entrepreneur, as a leader, must be able to bear this responsibility!
Simply spank yourself before you step in front of your colleagues: think about why you love your job? what successes have you had/have? why do clients like me?
So think of all the good things before you walk through door of your firm!
If you have a favorite music that makes you feel better, listen to it in the car before you get to the company.
You may smile for these ideas now, but believe me, big things, a lot of times, depend on the little things.
What else a manager should not do? He or she can’t afford to lose his or her goals. You must remain strong, persevering and motivated to the end, because the motivation of a group can never be higher than the motivation of its leader!
How can you achieve this condition? I’ll give you some tools.
- Stop worrying, whining, complaining, because in addition to setting an example for your environment that’s not exactly to follow, it’s also causing stress, which actually harms your own health.
- Stay in the present. That means not to worry about the past or the future, which means not to deal with things you can’t control. The best that can be done for the future is in the present. You must not drift with events, you have to stand confidently at the helm to the end. You can’t let the helm go because your ship, your business or your life’s ship will be out of control! Stay the source of control! You control your own affairs, not let things happen to you!
- And, of course, communication also can not be left out! No stress! Or Don’t fos, as the more educated English say 😊 It’s very important to communicate properly with both your colleagues as a leader and your partners as an entrepreneur! You always have to be confident and always communicate some positive messages!
- Then there’s another tool: I just encouraged you to make plans on how to change your operating foundations if circumstances force you to do so. To do this, feel free to involve your colleagues in the planning process to see how you survive the crisis? As a leader, you not only need their ideas, but thinking together also strengthens team unit. And what questions do you have to answer together?
- How can we serve better our remaining market?
- What can we come up with to replace our lost positions?
- What completely new opportunities have been created by the situation and how can we use them to our advantage? For example, we at MASC Ltd. have switched even those customers to use MZ/X, i.e. the digital office, who for some reason have not been yet. In other words, the unfavourable circumstances have been turned to our advantage.
And why is this leadership pattern important? Because that’s what your collagues see!!! And their leader is the pattern in their behavior and motivation!
Okay, but let’s approach communication in a slightly more professional way, because on the one hand, it’s a very important factor in crisis management, and on the other hand, it might be one of the keys to your survival.
With the help of Dr. Barbara Reynolds, one of the world’s best-known epidemiological experts, lets look at the basic rules of successful crisis communication (source: Adam Szalay’s brilliant crisis management lecture Lapcom, 07.04.2020) completing with my own proposals.
- Let’s be first: For the public, usually the first source of information remains the liked, accepted, preferred source. Be the first in your market! Do not let the control get out of our hands. We should be the source of good control!
- Let’s be honest: accuracy builds credibility, trust. There are three things to communicate: 1. What we can do in this situation. It provides security. 2. What we are not able to do right now. This is very important: the other party could be aware of what he or she should not expect from us at the moment. And that immediately reduces the possibility of misunderstood or the frustration of our partner. 3. What is it that bridges the gap between the two? In other words, what kind of solutions have we come up with to turn the crisis situation in the right direction.
- Let’s stay authentic, also self-authentic. I used to say that: Don’t forget which league we’re playing in. 😊
- Let’s express our sympathy. And let’s always stay empathetic, because it’s the basis for deep customer connection (in technical term „rapport”). Let’s take a moment to see what the word ’empathy’ means, because I find that it is not clear to everyone. Empathy means feeling through; someone’s ability to feel other people’s feelings. So empathy is not the same as regret!
- Let’s be action-oriented
- Show steps can be taken
- Let’s come up with sensible, useful things to do
- Our focus on action will reduce the partner’s concern
- We also maintain a sense of control
These are not complicated things before anyone would think: we, for example, did not close our offices during the “mass hysteria of closure” due to the epidemic, but found solutions to provide continuous service for our customers and communicated towards them constantly, reducing any concern they might have, and in the meantime we controlled the events all along, at least in terms of our own operations.
Let’s show respect! Indeed, there are some people are more sensitive to the crisis and may have even had to go through personal tragedies, so let us be very concerned that this situation is not a time for jokes. In trouble, people usually appreciate the person who is able to act, the one, who can find the way out and solutions, more than the jokey stupid kid. Before anyone misunderstands me, we also need our sense of humor, in difficult situations, but with this, during such times, situations as the present one, we should treat more carefully.
And let’s also pay attention to our activities in the online space! More than usual. During the quarantine, #stayathome#, home office period, everyone is more connected to the web than in peacetime. And the internet is cruel! It preserves all our manifestations for the future. I suggest that if we want to show responsible behaviour at a time of crisis, let us think twice about what we like or what content we share.
By the time we’re done, you can see that these are formulas that can be used successfully for both colleagues and customers, business partners, and also for crisis situations that may occur at any time in our lives.
And one more thought about the importance of communication: The market, our millieu will want to see us as we present ourselves. If we communicate that we’ve given up, that we’re just drifting with the flow, then that’s what they’re going to think of us. If we show ourselves to be active, they’ll see us as active.
Problem or possibility?
It is a good question. 😊 Let’s have a look at the situation of our own company. We’ve been investing a lot in our MZ/X project for the last two years, which is actually a paperless accounting office. Now, in this situation, it is proving that we have no problem with our work, it does not matter if we cannot meet our customers in person.
Look for opportunities you have never thought of before, because the business worked without it. You’ve to get to your customer anyway, that’s all you need to see. If you don’t lose sight of the goal, you’ll find a solution.
Because who miss it out, that lags behind 😊
The crisis is not only a blow, it is an opportunity.
„So let’s not be afraid of the new, because it can bring good for us,
Maybe that’s the last hope.
Our existence was built on a quagmire that drags us into the dark depths
if we want to, the light can still shine on us.” (Péter Máté)